Structural weakness due to ageing and heavy loads on roofs is a dangerous combination that could easily lead to a roof collapse. During the cold seasons when there is a lot of heavy rainfall and storm winds roof collapse is a real danger that homeowners and commercial business owners should be concerned about. During construction, roofs are designed to have structural integrity and bear most of the usual weight of rainfall. However, sometimes things can get a little out of hand.
The most basic sign is a sagging roof that is quite obvious to the eye. Severe roof leaks, cracked wood, bends or ripples in the support and sheared off screws from the steel frames are also more signs of a weak roof that could collapse any time. If you notice any cracks in the walls, it could also show that the roof’s weight is not distributed properly which is huge potential for a collapse. Other signs that most people barely associate with a failing roofing system include doors that pop open or doors and windows that are difficult to open, creaking and popping sounds from the roof as well as bowed utility pipes and sprinkler heads dropping bellow the ceiling tiles. If you notice any of these problems, you should consider calling in a roof expert to take a look at it.
Regular roofing maintenance is the first thing you should do to prevent roof collapse. Neglecting your roofing system could hide many potential problems that can damage your roof. Maintenance helps to prolong the life of the roof and uncover any problems that can make the roof weaker. You should inspect your roof at least once or twice a year while doing regular maintenance activities to keep it in check. Other things that you could do to prevent collapse include:
- Consider removing any extra weight added to the roof since the original construction. Extra weight such as HVAC units, solar panels, hanging equipment or new roof coverings could be too much weight for your roof leading to a roof collapse. Before introducing any extra weight to the roof, find out from your contractor if the construction can handle this extra weight. You could save yourself a world of trouble.
- Inspect your roofs drains and gutters regularly to make sure they are clear of any debris. Falling leaves, twigs and other kinds of debris could block your gutters and downspouts, causing rainwater to accumulate on the roof and this extra weight could lead to a collapse. Keeping the drainage passages clear is important to avoid overbearing weight on your roof.
- Buildings with wood bowstring trusses are historically prone to failure. This is due to the deterioration of the truss. You should schedule a regular inspection with a structural engineer just to make sure everything is in proper working order to avoid collapse.
Do not avoid any obvious signs that your roof is in distress. Making the right decisions in good time could save you a lot of money and some nasty injuries